Why West Wind ATR 42 crashed just 17 seconds after take-off

A fatal 2017 crash of a West Wind ATR 42 has exposed systemic issues involving aircraft taking off with icing contaminated surfaces in Canada, investigators from the country’s Transportation Safety Board have concluded.

The lack of adequate de-icing or inspection equipment at remote airports and the normalisation of the unsafe practice of taking off without adequately removing contaminants led to the crash which killed one passenger.

ATR42
The incident involved a 27-year-old ATR 42-300 which had spent most of its years in the skies above Africa flying for Kenyan and South African operators. Canadian Transportation Safety Board

The turboprop, C-GWEA (c/n 240), impacted terrain just 17 seconds after taking off from Fond-du-Lac Airport on December 13, 2017.

The milk run flight was the third in a series that took the aircraft north from Saskatoon – situated around 300 miles east of Calgary – through the Canadian province of Saskatchewan as flight WEW282.

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